Let Auggie Pullman help you choose kindness and grace.



M aybe you’ve heard of the book called Wonder.

If you haven’t, please get acquainted. Impulse buy on Amazon, grab it at the library. It’s one of those books that I feel everyone should read. If you are a parent, it’s a must. As a human being, yes, absolutely. Read it as a family and you won’t regret it. Strong statements, I know, but it is really that good.

Wonder tells the story of Auggie Pullman, a boy with Treacher Collins syndrome, a severe craniofacial malformation. Due to his health issues, he has been homeschooled through the fourth grade, but as a fifth grader is entering public school for the first time. The story is told by Auggie, several classmates and his sister. The author, R.J. Palacio, penned this story after a true-life interaction with a girl who had this condition—an interaction in which her son showed fear and Palacio grabbed him and hurried away in embarrassment. Palacio wished she had paused to talk to this mom and her two kids and that she had treated them with neighborly courtesy and kindness.

Two quintessential quotes:

 

“Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”

“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary — the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”

 

This book is about this and so much more. So, really, you should read it.

However, I also get that life is busy. So, this is my compromise. Go see the movie. It opens at the box office on Friday, November 17. As a general irrefutable rule, right up there with Newton’s universal law of gravity, books are always better than movies. But I’ll go out on a limb with my hope and my belief that Hollywood will do right by this movie.

My kids can tell you exactly when I’m going to cry when reading through this book. Sad tears, angry tears, happy tears—the kind of tears that challenge my soul but encourage my heart. Tears that reaffirm my belief that every person has a place, and one beautiful heart can transform a community.

This story shows us how to step closer to the kind of humanity we want to be.

 

Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own. (Henry Ward Beecher)

 

Pass the popcorn.